Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

February 6, 2019 (Last Updated: January 17, 2020)
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This Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast is an easy make-ahead sweet treat for breakfast or brunch! It’s almost like a breakfast bread pudding.

Baked apple french toast in a casserole dish

Brunch is my favorite meal that I rarely get to enjoy. I used to go out for brunch more often when I lived in Los Angeles and New York City. Although there are some great weekend brunch spots in Rhode Island, I don’t brunch as often as I would like. Breakfast foods are some of my favorites. When a recent opportunity arose to participate in a brunch my sister was hosting, I immediately took the lead to plan the menu and execute some of the dishes.

Brunch is served! Baked cinnamon apple french toast, cheese boreks, cold cuts, and frittata

Planning a breakfast or brunch menu

When making breakfast for a crowd, and planning a complex menu, you can’t really stand around flipping pancakes all day. With careful planning, you need to make smart menu choices to cover savory and sweet options with minimal effort. For this particular meal we include a frittata, cheese and meat boreks, spanakopita, and a selection of charcuterie and cheeses for savory options. The sweet half consists of fruit salad, chocolate chip scones, and this decadent baked apple French toast with cinnamon. And of course we’re having mimosas and coffee to wash it all down.

Baked apple french toast in a casserole dish

Some other great options for breakfast or brunch for a group include:

Table set for brunch, featuring a cheese platter, baked apple french toast, cheese and meat borreks, cold cuts, a frittata, fresh fruit, and scones

How to make Baked French Toast

This baked French toast is really a cross between French toast and bread pudding. It’s a cinch to make, especially if you can find Texas toast at your local grocery store. I found that it was more trouble than it was worth to visit more than a couple grocery stores with this goal in mind, and instead decided to bake a loaf of white sandwich bread, and slice it thickly to replicate the Texas toast. This worked beautifully!

apple french toast casserole before baking
Before baking
apple cinnamon french toast after baking
After baking

The bread slices soak overnight in vanilla-laced custard, topped with a blanket of tender, cinnamon-spiced apple slices. The next morning it bakes for about an hour until puffy, golden, and fully set. Err on the slightly longer side if you notice a bit of loose custard sneaking up through your French toast. You want to make sure all the custard sets before you serve this to guests. Maple syrup is an excellent accompaniment, although I found the French toast to be perfect, delicately sweet, and well-balanced even without this addition.

Baked apple french toast in a casserole dish

The guests at brunch raved over this baked French toast, and like I said it really couldn’t have been easier to make! Even though I baked my bread from scratch, I used a simple recipe that didn’t require a lot of effort, and the entire dish just fell into place. Depending on the size of your brunch crowd, you may not need a large variety of menu items, but this baked French toast is a definite winner for any brunching occasion.

Baked apple french toast in a casserole dish
Baked cinnamon-apple French toast in a rectangular casserole dish

Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast

Victoria
This Baked Cinnamon Apple French Toast is an easy make-ahead sweet treat for breakfast or brunch! It's almost like a breakfast bread pudding.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Resting Time 12 hrs
Total Time 13 hrs 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 401 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 medium apples (or 5 large apples), use a variety
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up into small cubes, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 slices Texas toast thick presliced white bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat until it starts to foam. Add the apples and cook them until tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Lightly toast the bread. Cut the toast slices in half to make triangles. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish, and arrange the bread in two rows, overlapping in the dish.
  • Beat the eggs in a medium bowl; then whisk in the sugar, milk, and vanilla to make a custard. Pour the custard over the bread triangles, and spoon the apples over the top. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Uncover the baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the custard is set and doesn’t shimmy when you shake the pan (err on the longer side to ensure its baked through–mine baked a little over 60 minutes total because I noticed a bit of runny custard bubbling out one of the sides around the 50 minute mark). It will puff up and brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve it in squares or large spoonfuls with maple syrup, if desired.

Notes & Nutrition

  • If you struggle to find commercially available Texas toast, you can bake your own white sandwich bread, and cut it into 8 one-inch-thick slices.
Adapted from Gale Gand’s Brunch
Servings 8.0 * calories 401 * Total Fat 12 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 1 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 206 mg * Sodium 265 mg * Potassium 347 mg * Total Carbohydrate 63 g * Dietary Fiber 5 g * Sugars 43 g * Protein 12 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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Baked cinnamon apple French toast in a casserole dish

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Camille
    January 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    5 stars
    I absolutely love French Toast and bread pudding, and this looks like the best combination of both! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Ainsley
    January 13, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    5 stars
    This is so good! I made this for a big brunch I was having at my house. I love something I can throw in the oven for an hour before guests arrive, and with all the prep and clean up the night before: magical. I used a loaf of brioche from the store and it puffed up beautifully and really made the custard stand out. I used 8 small Macintosh apples (that’s what I had!) and it was a perfect amount. The whole bake was soft enough that our 18 month old nephew could have some without worrying about toughness. I even had some the next day cool and it was YUMMY. I can’t recommend enough!

    • Reply
      Victoria
      January 17, 2020 at 10:33 am

      I’m so glad your guests enjoyed this recipe! It’s such a great make-ahead recipe for occasions just like yours. I bet the brioche was perfect. It’s a wonderful bread for French toast.

  • Reply
    AJ
    January 17, 2020 at 10:14 am

    5 stars
    I have a ton of apples! I can’t wait to make this! Do you have a white bread recipe that you’d recommend?

    • Reply
      Victoria
      January 17, 2020 at 10:30 am

      I can’t find the exact recipe right now, but it was a cool rise white bread! This recipe may be similar to the one I used. I’m not sure if you have Stop and Shop in Pittsburgh, but I was just there today and saw some Stop and Shop brand Texas Toast! I would have just bought it last time if I had found it 😀 Let me know how it goes! I bet Lily would love it!

  • Reply
    Mary Kabakian
    January 17, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    5 stars
    What a delicious treat! Love this breakfast dish, it’s actually great for any time, not just breakfast.

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